Blogger Paul Modrowski is in prison for a murder he claims that he didn't commit. This week, producer Sruthi Pinnamaneni looks at Paul's life before his conviction, and the crime that landed him behind bars.
On the Inside, Part I
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This episode is brought to you by better for him a new podcast from eighty people. In each episode Francesca Ramsay talks to visionaries in business leaders about mistakes. They ve made how they work their way through them and came out better for it. Listen on Spotify or wherever you get. Your pot casts.
From gimlet. This reply, I'm out this week. The second part
of on the inside a story by reply, all producer, shrilly Penman, any.
If you haven't heard part one go back
two weeks episode and wasn t right now, but here
a quick refresher.
In February last year, should VE found a blog that was written by a man in a maximum security prison in Illinois
His name is parliament asking
they spoke. Nepal on the phone, just a sort of understand how he's writing a blood from a maximum security prison and
are conversations turned into weekly routine
and at a certain point, trophy
began to wonder about his case,
Paul is artistic and key
they that is autism, played a big role in his conviction and he says that says serving a life sentence for murder that he didn't commit. So
for they started to investigate here. She is so
I started to look into pause criminal case this past September and in
taken me to all,
Different weird place
there's that I never thought I would go, maybe them
place. A start is in the fall
nineteen, eighty eight Paul was
thirteen and he was a freshman at a new school last month. Hi this is
Chicago suburbs and poor-
was starting this semester with a resolution
from here on out everything
he's going to be totally different
the way wise and junior high. I tried really hard it to your body that you didn't you popular, but it wasn't me. I can't do it. I can't I can't I just
high school. I just want the opposite way. I was going to do it my way out to the Pvd with Carlos of how it affected other people
more day magazine
better to be feared than the loved I didn't want him.
Want to love me and my friend,
wasn't turned to fit in any more but still Paul, just heated
every single minute of school,
being around all the people, a I just hate crowd, general
do you have a way of dealing with that when you were in high school at what was your coping mechanism
The mechanism was to shovel students out of my way
then after a while, I think, actually serve them like use your hands and a shovel?
actually show them out of my way isolated, bumped into made. I my pawnshop, that's crazy,
I guess I didn't make a lot of people.
Paul was exaggerating when he said this kind of stuff, but then
talk a woman named LISA who actually went to high school with him, and she says yes, this is true when politics
the hallway all the suit.
We just move out of his way.
It's some point, I ask all of you who is that end?
He said, oh that thing
and I said why he said nun
that's what he calls himself and
did you think of of him calling himself Satan that seem like I don't know,
sort of a high school type ass. He felt very clear. He wanted to be intimidating, so any was so
Paul didn't like the kids at school. They didn't like him, but TAT
stop him from showing up at the occasional party where heed
sickly stand around and that's it.
A year later he finds this crowd.
How did you meet Brian? The village
story I want to do
party and Brian happened to be there and he wagered me. Five hundred
I couldn't bunch brush
not await actually pull out of it,
while a lot of money- and I
a dead end.
You gave me the money- and I gave it back to him, because I thought that about taken his money,
Brian was nineteen years old out of school, worked as
at a ribs joint, but on the side he was a Bucky taking sports bets Brian likes
so he took him under his wing,
in turn introduced him to this. Other guy named Bob for Archie. Remember,
that name because Bob Frati is the guy that Paul claims for everything that has gone wrong in his life
was twenty five soap. Seven years older than Paul he'd just come out of jail, first selling cocaine and to Paul he was everything that Paul was not probably
The very serious boring and button tenth person
others more. He had reported here boy and he can be funny Guy numbered good fellows were
the guy that talking about your pushy didn't wanna Guy and Europe, as he with them.
Would you be by plenty guys what I'd like? I'm a fucking clown, I'm youth you and he really reminding allotted your page. You from the movie good fellows
I asked the assistant states attorney from back then James Mackay about Bob Rocky, and he says the sky was just a poser.
Few saw Robert Ferralti, you understand robber. France is all about
he's a thief he's a little punk he's
a little pathetic
excuse for a man is
five? Four five five may be in here,
and what about
in Polish Sano His,
about Bob Rocky, and he says the sky was
at the time he thought he was.
Before I cheat, you understand what robber fraud is all about. He's a fee
changed his name to Brian, to policy now, but he didn't have a drop of italian blood in his veins. He was
nothing more than a phony
says pretty soon. Instead of going to school, he was hanging out with Bob and Brian these guys loved mob move.
Good, fellows Godfather, and
Bob and Brian we're always fantasizing about living that life and
They are actually doing a lot of the things we are seeing in those movies things like gambling burglaries a thousand little scams. I try
every which way to reach Brian and Bob for the story sent letters, emails and
These guys loved me.
Here is based off of police statements, records and Brian.
People who knew them back then and from all
that here's. What I think that Bob and Brian saw in Paul
he's a serious guy straight edge, doesn't drink or do drugs he's young, but he six
three and muscular and they
Liked having him around during business seals, he sit in the corner and look all intimidating and sometimes
with send him out to collect debts from gamblers good. You go
the guy. Nor did you just go.
No actually, I I don't think I've ever used a gun,
done throughout her
economic shocks or all night to stick numb tax contracts are like non checks.
I guess what it sometimes I
I listened to your stories and I I myself
look outwards normal, like
You know you're in high school, most of the people, your age have jobs, helping out at their dad's like a lawnmower business or something- and you are like
going around with numb checks and trying to get paid,
to pay up gambling tapped it just did it ever seem like we're too. You probably
like all other fifteen year old, had been fighting
my childhood. I don't fight
but other kids and I've been reading them up. All throughout
cool. My brain was like they are
what you do this for money. Why do you get an early flights and you can get pay you like?
every now and then I would collect four people were dealt with. Money
Paul talks about this whole period of his life with Bob and Brian there's, a nostalgia to it. It's as if it's the
first time. Anyone really appreciated him, but now
for the reasons you might expect it couldn't trust,
because you're a bunch of Connaught itself,
We all the might of all thought it down
the dollar Gandhi and they knew that they always depend on me. Never
the boy, the money I myself or give the money to anyone else. Remember Bob.
Roger even he would even
himself with his own gambling. You call me
We need a programme of your railway, I'm up like five thousand dollars, and I don't want to blow it
gold on the right track and I pulled down with winnings. You tell me beforehand and don't give me any my winnings back, no matter how much I plead for. I feel that you're not getting you bet you gotta work.
What you got, love so PA
Bob and Brian. That's the crew,
that's Paul's inner circle by theirs.
On other guy. I've got to tell you about his name. Is Dean Fawcett
it was like a mild mannered, meek, young man that
States attorney, Mackay, again, no altar boy, mind you! Ok,
clearly not a leader and was
by stronger personalities.
Photos of dean from back then he's a guy in his early twenties baby, faced big smile and glasses, Paul in
care much for him.
I actually wanted to hang out with being an idea
much? I don't he's gonna like a stone
I was pretty much only around him when he was with Brian and for what
what's he from playing around with what we thought. We were the grid things in the world, because
that point this true they were.
Tough guys they carried guns, they beat up people and dean.
He'd been arrested a couple times, but just for minor stuff. His thing
was stealing checks from people and then trying to buy stuff. It almost seemed like a compulsion for dean. In fact, wonder
when Paul was seventeen. He bore
dean and Brian over to his parents house they hung out for bed and then
friends took off
later that day, Paul's mother was paying bills and she noticed something. Weird
I realized I go to write the next check out the attackers mincing and so was the next
and I called the bank right away and they
for me there,
for those check, had already been cashed.
Dean had bought almost twenty six hundred dollars worth of stuff he'd. Even try.
My car with one of our tax right away. She call paul- and here he was really whack- why
he couldn't believe it.
You feel about the fact that dean had stolen the checks,
That's what I tell you that this risk,
dean had bought almost twenty six hundred dollars worth of stuff he'd, even try to buy
a car with one of our checks right away. She call Paul in here
all had given him those checks so soon enough. The car
came for Paul.
Linda decided she didn't want to get her son into trouble. So she,
All the charges against Dean and Paul now in a lot of groups of friends. These
probably would never have spoken again, but these were
normal friends. Paul, says Brian
in and he ends up acting as a peacemaker, he gets done,
to give Paul some money to patch things up and they forget all about it. That's what Paul sets
but this little question whether Paul
Actually forgave dean,
mattering in a big big way to yours.
Later so flash forward
years its December. Ninety. Ninety two it's right,
your paws eighteenth birthday, Paul
gets into a huge fight with his dad over the fact that he's coming home late every night and
and just walking
his parents house he moves in with Bob Frati and Fox wife rose and then the whole group. They go
I'm a little climb spree
that assistance, States attorney Mackay explained comedy.
Husky Robert Frankie Robber, frock, his wife,
dean force it
and two other individuals, one of whom was a young lady, were in.
Altogether. In going to various retail stores, run Chicago Land area
buying items with bogus checks checks. They had stolen from a number of people.
This time we went shopping in
Your received some give from being fostered by, for example,
random. All one calamity bought me suddenly terminal
your glasses and sports, poyser,
are you in nice is? Are you like us working Van? I want to assure you that your phone, when I was a kid and it's like his attitude, he made a number of really good movies in the beginning and what are the child? I travel looked up to him, so they
all kinds of jewellery and all kinds of farm.
To allow terms from some high and stores and her writing beer church for all of them. By the end of the week, Dean and his crew had stolen thirteen thousand dollars worth of stuff, silverware sunglasses and necklaces and Teddy bears for this. Girl may deem that d,
he was trying to impress alone
trench coat for Paul
how did you feel when you guys we're doing thus like was it- was a fine fine shopping shop right back?
you know you knew the checks for bad re forces
The first reading that checks, ok
each exhausted a cop. What you
dean, wanted to celebrate this
successful spree they'd been on. So he rent.
An enormous suite at the Ramada in and this
This will be the last time they had all be together.
See, you guys go back to the hotel room and then why
I don't know, I can't really works for you. You ask me
His question like I should know what I'm doing dishonest guy, I hesitating,
but this is a long ago.
I've ass Paul many many times to recount for me the details of that evening and
He always says everyone is hanging out. Things seemed normal,
so Paul says he remembers the guy.
They were all hanging out of the room and Paul
He goes downstairs weathers an olympic size pool it's empty.
It's Christmas time and he remembers just
swimming lap after lap after lap. He go
act. The rim stays there tonight, we'll
replied Anne. I woke up early,
and we're getting ready to leave
We ask the lying in bed. He cleared up all night,
I've chance you I'll leave. You are wrong,
news is, I know now for relief
that brings us to the second week of January. Ninety. Ninety three
I mention this in part. One of our story. This is the week of the most horrific murders the Chicago area has seen in decades, the first,
is a mass shooting at a chicken restaurant in the suburbs of Palestine which are still searching for clues in this weekend's bizarre mass murder adored the restaurant was open. Victims were mostly high school students. There are not. Somebody went into fried chicken restaurant shot, the seven people who work there and put their bodies in a freezer.
No clues all the blood in the restaurant had been meticulously mopped up, and nobody has any idea why somebody would do this. We overwhelmingly emotion in Palestine. You still fear
the killer or killers, have not been caught
and then ten days later, a mother
and daughter in the neighbouring supper, Barrington they're, taking a walk along the railroad tracks and they,
across what looks like
a dead animal,
and then they realize it's a human body. The body.
Has no head, no less
right hand. The medical examiner says that they look as though they ve been sawed off by a steady hand, an
b, I tat force
send to investigate and there on the body they find a single clue.
This episode is brought few by better for it, a new podcast from eighty peed hosted by Francesca Ramsay. We all make mistakes better, for it looks at how mistakes have shaped the lives and careers of visionaries and business leaders and helps them think differently about what their working for you'll hear from an entrepreneur who ventured out on his own, and so I went out and took seven hundred dollars. I had in the bank, but my own pickup truck took some flyers business cards and a week later, I had a business and in each hour, rule breaker, whose learned why we all care about work in the first place. You wanted the proud of the work that you do. You want to be able to tell your friends at that. I knew I be able to feel like you're, making a difference. You'll hear how they work their way through their mistakes and came out better for listen on Spotify or wherever you get. Your PA casts.
back to the show willing
in the case of prison, blogger poem here shrewdly,
Earlier last month I went to Chicago to meet Jennifer Black Mother Fucker. I didn't edge she's Paul's current attorney. I was ok,
Ok, we'll just have to get their security and we
the court house, where they keep all the evidence from that body
was found by the train tracks in Barrington Legacy mission.
you're, the courthouse. We go upstairs to the evidence, room where we give
the evidence, impound manager, a form,
and he hands us a box inside
are just folders and folders of legal documents, some of them
tied together with ribbons. We serve
been through the photos, so this is it. This is when the body was found.
It's a snowy view of railroad tracks,
and there's a circle in the picture with an arrow.
Sure why her feeling that's where the binding
into the body was the Walker. The person who found the body
Probably was saying I was walking here:
we show the direction, there's body
ribs sank in the
sure. There's a body, that's half covered in snow, the sky
gone and its clearly been out there for a while
they find that piece of paper, and there is a thing, is
partners under the snow, JANET
says the cops and digging the body out of the snow and then in the pocket
the genes. They find a slip of paper. It's
hotel stationary and some one has
Britain now in words one hundred one hundred one thousand and then there's two scribbled names, maybe dean and
on the other side. There's a phone number.
Hotel room number.
Say I was Ramada an room. Thirty,
were it's like straight out of a bad cop movie,
it really is
has the room number you know seriously
and they spell hundred rounds class, the police
Contact, the hotel, they ask
who was staying in room thirty, four on those dates and they fight
out it's a woman named may deem this says
the very same Nadine that Dean Foster
had been wooing. What Teddy bears and necklaces by this point- police
look through missing people's reports and they have
a photo of dean, far set
when they showed it to Canadian? She said: yeah yeah, that's my friend dean and I haven't seen him since December-
hops called Dean's mother and they do a dna test which confirms that the body by the tracks is Dean, Fawcett
and let me just remind you, the cops
an FBI. They suspect that the same crazy person who
behind the murders at the chicken restaurant might be linked to the moon,
of Dean Fawcett, because these two incidents happened so
together in the same time span and so the police,
They just pile resources onto the case, Dean Fawcett more than a hundred cops and they ve got
FBI informants looking everywhere for leads around that time
Bob Proxies wife rose. She reaches out to a friend supposedly a guy with mob connections, she's very, very upset, and she tells him
My husband came home one night covered in blood, and I think he knows something about that: chicken restaurant thing and Palatine. What rose doesn't realise is that her friend is one
those FBI informants
He tells the FBI and days later,
the cops harassed by approaching this
the biggest news across Illinois just everywhere with every child above brought you to be offered none he currently with connect.
At the same time, then, securing funding
fashion or to get information about the girl apply massacre. I just
number three repeated on every station and see him being let out handcuffs and trying to find himself. No one could see his face. The cops
Bob Rocky, and he seemed to know everything about now,
by the train tracks and
he is willing to show them how the whole thing went down in the
evidence box back of the courthouse. I saw
photo from that day. It's a police photo by
Rocky is standing in a wide open field. He short as big dark eyes
he's wearing a Mickey mouse. Sweatshirt swept pants and he's point
and out of the frame of the picture as if to say over their Bob Lee
the cops to the exact spot where Dean's body was found, and then
just nearby. He points them to another place where they find a shovel and saw
week after Bob's arrest, Paul is out driving a car, a blue Mustang he's
corner of Cicerone Archer and suddenly he says he's ambushed, but
looks like a swat team firearms.
You must direction when it had little red dot.
All over my body day. They pulled the other car, they shall be on the ground. I like I want attorney
of course, of course, into another car I'll. Take you to the police station out, like a woman attorney
you're, never going to see a journey and make up
and TAT really about information, but also I am I talking you lock and human
not talking you along turning quickly cops, make clear that they think Paul killed dean
not only that maybe he's also behind the chicken restaurant massacre. The questioner
to day straight and the police,
seemed to have a motive linking part
chicken restaurant by them
IRAN's within anyway cycle
chicle profile according to police, that of a boy
it'll killer. Wonder?
active, says, is capable of lining up seven people and
securing them a loner, weird fatal,
the name here to describe the fell back Palma roughly by those who knew him Paul swears up and down, he didn't kill dean. The dean was just a guy. He barely paid attention to the cops
they shall be on the ground. I like I want attorney
would have killed. Then they saw
that dean had gotten scared about all those bad checks, he'd written over Christmas, and they
was gonna, go to the cops and ran out his friends, and so the cops say: Paul killed Dean referred to
It doesn't make sense at all because, while
then go. The cops could begin with its
scam is the one that opened up a bank account
in that way to check this approach.
I get in trouble for the check
told you write a check
familiar liable for the Czech, I'm not really
All of these,
if I was to learn from others,
out, like Bob and rules that be the man
Mantelish penalty, it's not something that you're gonna kill someone over
Would you like your right if I could be if I could be the cop for a second
they and I'm I find like dean.
So he shows up his.
Body with his head and his arm sawed off. I find out there,
he's been running. This check cashing scheme with you.
And with Bob Rocky,
Any of its history, where he ragged you out before I don't think it's a crazy to think that
would be involved in his death.
One I don't, kill people, that's not
looking out ever. Do I beat up a lot of people
he'll. Do somebody and bidding someone off her two totally different things. You might think of me
Maybe a brutally
violent person at times, but being a bully boy and maybe
Drawing up some people is a far cry from being a murderer.
No way. I will do that and withdrawing philosophy.
Maybe I didn't like that much better. I certainly would never have thought about killing them so
Paul says that what went through his mind was
cops, have nothing, but this ridiculous motive that just hold up. So
fuck with his line. I want a lawyer, I'm not talking, but he has a problem, as you ve heard,
his friend Bob has been talking
and he's been telling the cops lots of things about Paul. At one point,
those cops. John Cozier comes
Paul's interrogation room and puts a statement down in front of Paul shook out. We ve got to say about this.
Do you want to comment on this? Why don't you talk to us? Looked up,
is that all these things about you? And if you talk to us, the signatories gonna run with it
and he has people it'll, be statements or these these reports, and I certainly think through it
Finally, I read like a paragraph on paragraph there, an advantage John called you'll get a cannibal
certainly says it. All you gotta look here: we go through last age and he points out the signature of proper project and its like a really bad.
Throughout his signature on, like
no idea, that's his signature. You could awoke at signature, I don't believe it
anything you say that
It meant the one Bob apparently signed says. Yes, I Bob frocks
was there at the scene of the crime.
Only as a helpless witness and Pollen Brian, they forced me to come along because
We want him to witness the murderer and every threatened to kill him and his family and everybody loves, and
For some reason, we chose a spot. A few blocks away from where he lived all his life process.
At first. He just couldn't believe that his friend had set all these things, but there
after a few days. He just had to admit these.
We're Bob's words, and
You feel man
What do you do? A converter, em?
with trying to blame me for everything underneath the sun
I wish I was I were a thoughts were betrayed. I don't know
anything for him. I walked out for him and he just wants to shut me under the passport out of it,
I mean I want to never made up this, I actually can committed are more like a boy, my friends and I would even think
I would even
considered emotion at some time
but you're not out of people taken a bullet through someone might run our guy not withdrawn wondered. Why do you think that so important to you with their loyalty here
I just know most of the world. I think I don't. I don't feel interconnected with a lot of
people, but don't people better in my inner circle? I feel
strong, a stronger, badly
Other people are so make deal with so many people
but I don't think the same way. I do you don't have the same integrity, they run
faces one. I wonder whip.
School, they would put forward a plan or when I have a job,
they put on a different data? All these bases, I'm the same
all the time. What is it with you?
We already one and the same person, but is he now
I mean in conversations with me. Paul seems totally relentlessly consistent with his stories, but
There is evidence that makes me question all of that people
there than Bob came forward to the cops Brian?
Dean Bob's wife rose all of them,
hold. Police Paul was definitely involved days.
Things like I overheard Paul say that he wanted to kill dean.
One of them said you not the last time I saw dean alive, he was getting
what car with Bob and Paul, and there were other things.
Like right after Dean's murder, Paul and Bob Lee
town together they drove to clear water Florida where
rented an apartment. Did you
jobs and lived for a couple months before coming up
for they got arrested pos, whereas that
move. That was all Bob's idea. He wishes tagging along by.
There's just one last thing that looks so suspicious: the map,
found a map book.
The Chicago suburbs, when they search Paul's bedroom and on the page that showed right where Dean's body was found near this railway tracks. There's a mark like Ex marks a spot so
all of this looked really incriminating and pollen. I have gone over these details many times and no matter how mightily tries to explain away all this incriminating stuff
I still don't know account no
there were other things like right after Dean's, murder, Paul and Bob.
There's only one person who knows for sure,
He's the one person who says he
their one dean was murdered next week on the inside part, three Bob Ferralti speaks the piles hosted by Pga vote me out. Scoldin, our producers are surely Pinamonte Viennan Clay personas, our executive producer is tin. Howard
editor is Peter clowning production assistance from Mervyn D gone. Yes, Tom Cody. We were mixed by requiring special thanks this week to highly show Neil LISA Cook John Carpenter, Alex Rodriguez, Diane, dungeon Joseph show strong, and a big thanks to Patrick Brown, the coolest impound evidence manager ever met labour is a mouse pad with a kitten in a basket on our theme. Music is by the mysterious break, master cylinder and our add music. By build buildings, you can find more episodes, Itunes, dot com, flesh reply. All our website is reply all dot and in job this Saturday May twenty first as part of New York magazines, Vulture Festival, I will be having alive conversation onstage with comedian, Paul Sheer, who you may know from the. How did this get made? Podcast or a million other amazing things? So there are still tickets available. You can get them by going to the Vulture Festival website. Just Google reply, all vulture. First, you can find it takes away. Comes yes, it'll be eleven thanks for listening and we'll see you next week for part three of on the inside.
Transcript generated on 2020-02-13.